Barcodes getting recognition in UK national newspaper, The Guardian


A small win for barcodes as Victor Keegan from The Guardian newspaper in London thinks that barcodes could be the "next net revolution".

He also mentions which is damn cool.

Victor goes on to talk about barcode art and other interesting uses and also touches on whether the big phone manufacturers will get their act together and finally give barcodes the support they need to go main stream in the UK.

Read the article for yourselves here:

It would be great to get some input from you guys out there. When do you think barcodes will arrive in mass in the UK?


Ben Murison

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QR Book


The Creative Review highlight this amazing book produced purely out of QR codes. The concept is that it forms a living text, the actual writing itself mutating at will, the fixity of paper and ink no longer a fixity.

For me this is an excellent example of how QR codes can interact with old media, how they are making the web physical. Actively reading the book would probably not really work. But as a concept it's intriguing.

Also interesting to note that it's from Brazil. There seems to be a Spanish/Latin American twist to QR codes, something you wouldn't necessairily expect. In saying that I may have offended everyone in Spain and Brazil by lumping you together...and you don't even speak the same language. Sorry.

Interestingly HarperCollins US are putting QR codes on the back of books. This press release came via 2d-code. As someone involved with books in my other (non-barcode) life I like the initiative. Publishers are desperate to bring cool web stuff into books, but obviously an experiment like that of Editoras Online is not going to work. HC seem to have taken the time to choose the right titles and use QR in the right way: complementing the book, the age group, adding extra content and bringing the flexibility, fuidity and greater data scale of the web to print objects. Ultimately while Editoras will grab the headlines, HC is setting the precedent for use of barcodes in books.

Here is my one beef: in the press release it has the QR codes are "powered" by Australian QR generator and company qm codes. Am I the only one thinking this is slightly spurious? Powered in the sense that they created the QR codes? Not too hard in and of itself. Credit to them for getting in on the good partnership, but given that HC are creating the websites I am assuming qm codes role is actually in generating the codes. Not that hard.
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QR Code Poster


QR Codes' unique look and ability to act as physical world hyper links can be a very useful tool to markers.
Check out these posters we have created.

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Stop the Presses


Been sending out the press release to some of the tech blogs today, just hoping it gets some sort of reaction. Preferably good.

Traffic is beginning to build for the site which is good. The APIs all seem to be working. We recently added the functionality that allows people to save the codes as PNG images.

Heads up on some future developments: we did some epic filming in central London the other week for what can only be described as Quikqr: The Movie. I don't want to give away too much, but we got some brilliant footage of a giant QR code we made, a lot of bemused looks from people, some incredible interviews, including a memorable one with Darth Vader. We got sweared at in Leicester Sq, danced to heavy metal on the South Bank and found someone who had heard of QR codes! What are the odds. Watch (haha) this space for the video.

We were also taking static shots of QR codes in iconic locations. Unfortunately the absence of a quality SLR meant that quite a lot of these didn't come out. This is one that did though.

Any suggestions for what we can do with the image? It would be great to get it out there.
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QR Wall


Now this is cool- a QR code wall. I came across QR Wall in a comment on the incomparable 2d-code, and think the concept is great.

Basically you can leave a message which is then encoded into a QR code. This then goes to form a "brick" in the wall. Its an interesting idea as it uses the data compression of a QR code, and indeed the visualization, to produce an arresting, crowd sourced and disparate narrative. Or picture.

Really then its some strange confluence of art and story, a folk take painted in black and white squares.

These kind of ideas are what are pushing the boundaries of QR codes. We all know their functionality and anyone can think of a thousand different applications. Actually creatively engaging with them is great to see.

Was it cheeky to encode as a message? Oh well.
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Electro DJ Using QR Codes in London


I saw this code in the tube at Oxford Street. It links to a site where you can download the latest track from electro Dj Grum (
Pretty cool.

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The Berlin Code


Last weekend I was in Berlin and saw these QR codes plastered all over a building in Kreuzberg. The building is the big grey old one near Mehringdamm if you know Berlin.

Unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me at the time so was unable to actually scan the code at the time. It seemed very appropriate, techy and and edgy, for Berlin and was encouraging to actually encounter someone using QR codes in this way (presumably creatively).

The annoying thing is that I haven't managed to scan the code in the photo...if anyone can get it to work, do shout! Personally I'm hoping for some kind of Berlin hardcore clubbing connection, we'll just have to wait and see.

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Live Live Live


So we now have a live site! Whoop. It's not quite at the launch phase yet, but everything is up and sitting there so I guess you could call it a soft beta launch.

Have a look.

Once we have the press releases sent out, the marketing in place and all the other stuff ready we can call it launched. There is more functionality to come and hopefully there will be constant new additions to expand the offering.

It's already been quite a journey with more twists than expected; having something up, something we can point to and say "A website!!!!!" (very loudly) is a big relief.

The proposition of the site, like every good website is simple: create QR and then let people do cool stuff with them without any fuss or friction in between. While the proposition is simple as anyone who has ever been involved with websites will testify the execution is far from it. As a learning curve it's been pretty steep although utterly necessary.

Any feedback is much appreciated so do get in touch. We might even buy you a pint...

Coming next: some flair skills with QR and mobile barcodes the likes of which you have never seen before. Guaranteed. Promise. Ok, we'll try. Watch this space.

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What can QR codes do?


We all know that QR codes can be used as physical world hyperlinks, but what other information can they contain?

The codes essentially just encode text, however it is the ability of the readers to detect what type of information that text contains that makes the codes so flexible. Here is a brief list of the types of information recognised by the big readers:

1) Email address

Readers will recognise email addresses by the @ sign. It will then instruct your phone to launch a new blank email to this address.

Example: "mailto:". Now your qr code should launch a blank email to this address.

A code that fills out the subject and message etc can apparently be done using the NTT DoCoMo MATMSG format (although I haven’t got it to work on my iPhone yet).

2) Telephone Numbers

To automatically engage the telephone number dialling application on the person's phone, use the tel function. The number does not automatically ring, the user has to give their permission first.

Example: to encode the UK phone number 0207 111 1111 use “tel:00442071111111”. Adding the international dialling code will ensure the code works outside of the UK.

(some people say you can add a “+” instead of the “00” as the international dialing code prefix but I find this does not work on my iPhone).

3) Contact Information

You can use the code to make your phone recognise when text represents the contact details of a person. If permissioned, the information is then automatically added to your phone’s address book.

For example when the correct code is written my iPhone will add the name, email address, website, phone number etc of a person. Very handy.

I have had most success with NTT DoCoMo’s MECARD format. Copy the example below exactly, it will not work if you miss out spaces, semi colons etc.

Example: to encode "Ben Murison, 1 The Street, London, SW1 2TT, 0207 1111111,” I would encode this as

“MECARD:N: Murison, Ben; ADR:1 The Street, London, SW1 2TT; TEL: 02071111111; EMAIL:

Make sure there are semi colons between new types of info and colons after a new instruction e.g. ; TEL: 02071111111. Also make sure you end with a semi colon.

It can be a bit fiddly.

4) SMS

Like the email function, you can tell readers that the text is to be sent as an SMS message. The reader will then launch a new SMS to the phone number specified. The user needs to give their permission before the phone actually sends any message.

Example: to send an SMS to 0207 11111111 then encode:

“smsto:0207 1111111”

5) Geographic Location

QR codes can be used to show geographic locations on your phone. My iPhone shows the location of Google Maps for example. You need to enter the longitude and latitude of the location you want to show in conjunction with the “geo” function.

This website is handy to find the longitude and latitude for where you are trying to home in on:

Example: to show the location of London Bridge, I encode latitude first then longitude second:

“geo: 51.507801,-0.087687”

If you live in an area with Google Street View, then this will give you a link to see the eye level view of the place and give you directions to and from other locations.

Don’t tell me that isn’t cool.

These are probably the main useful ones we have come across.

Let us know if you come across others in the wild.

Ben Murison
Read On Almost Ready for Launch


Currently we are dotting the t's and crossing the I's with the developers. The site should be ready for launch today or tomorrow after a lot of work from the whole team.

There will be more updates and features added to the site as we go on. This will very much be stage 1 of the master plan.

Fingers crossed the final tweaks all go as we hope...

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They're Out There!


We heard about the massive Pepsi QR campaign a while ago and have been tracking the progress on the web. Ever since it launched I've been rubber necking at Pepsi cans and bottles for real, hard evidence of QR codes launching themselves into the UK.

And finally we have it! There it is. Have to say it looks pretty good. The QR code is arresting, and there is a rudimentary rubric in the form of a phone, seemingly beaming something towards the barcode itself. While it isn't totally clear what you should be doing, it's probably better than nothing when working on a scale like this. Found on a casual of afternoon Pepsi at work- can't say more embedded and natural than that.

This is a landmark campaign for both QR codes and mobile marketing in the UK. Pepsi is a marketing driven brand with enormous clout. PepsiCo is the kind of vast consumer goods producer that will drive barcodes out into the mainstream. That they are pioneering QR codes at such an early phase of adoption is commendable- I for one sincerely hope they see a decent ROI on the campaign..

So, they are out there. QR codes are live in the UK, and this is only the beginning.

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Geek "n" Rolla


I am off to the Techcrunch startup event they have on 21st April(

It looks awesome and a really good opportunity to do some networking. I am actually taking a days holiday from work to go so I am hoping to meet lots of lovely tech heads and people going through the same tribes and tribulations as we are there. I have yet to immerse myself in the London startup scene but from what I hear it is pretty vibrant.

Hope to meet some of you there.

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Want to Run a Web Business? Help!


Im sure many of you have some truly great (and probably some not so
great) web business ideas. First things first, I want to say that
myself and my good friend Michael are new at this. We don't have CV's
bursting with impressive web startup accolades and multi million pound
exits to VC's. We have other day jobs and just wanted to make the leap
from talking about ideas for web businesses to actually doing them.

We are at the start of an uncertain road but one thing is for sure, we
are going to be pushing hell for leather to establish our new company,
Quik Communications Ltd. We love QR codes and have some cool projects
lined up that make use of these ingenious things.

I myself have a background in sales so I am learning a huge amount about
how to go from idea to a functioning web business. What have I learnt so
far? I like to think of myself as an idea man. I carry a note book for
when ideas come to me (which addmittedly my girlfriend rightly mocks me
for). Going from idea to a tangible web business however is tough,
especially when you are holding down another stressful job. I would
really advise fellow web entrepreneurs to get help to realise their

I started trying to so everything myself; do my job, come back, work on
the reasearch, find developers, work out a marketing strategy, setup a
blog yada yada yada. I found that inevitebly I just couldn't do
everything myself. Finding a business partner has certainly helped me
focus on what I like to do (sales, marketing, generate idea and
strategy) and push the business along at a much quicker pace than ever
would have been possible on my own.

Going forward we will be sharing our experience, in real time, of
developing a hatchling web startup in London.

Sticking with exchanging ideas and connecting with like minded people,
are there any networking events, talks etc that you have found useful in
London? Any advice appreciated!

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Testing Testing; Or Not Quite


It's been brewing for a while, planning for a while, but we are now all systems go. Quikqr is being developed even as we speak.

What can you expect from this blog then? A few things.

Firstly Ben and myself, the founders of Quik Communications, the company behind Quikqr, will be talking about QR codes and the potential of barcodes in general. We passionately believe that these digital physical interfaces have the potential to transform the way we engage with the internet, and indeed the world. We try and keep on top of all the latest news in the area and will let you know when we find something interesting.

Secondly we'll be telling the story of getting our company off the ground. Like everyone in this space (and possibly on the web) we are learning as we go- learning about everything from contracts to some of the intricacies begind APIs. We'll be open about the travails, highs and lows in setting it up. Whatever happens next, it'll be an interesting journey.

There has already been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Unsurprisingly even relatively simple websites take a lot of thought and work. If you want to do them well that is.

So for now watch this space-...

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